Do - Gooder Spotlight: Philadelphia Folklore Project

The Do-Gooder Spotlight is GroundSwell's blog post spreading the word about individuals and organizations working to better their communities. Today we are giving a shout-out to our friends at the Philadelphia Folklore Project.


Now in its 26th year, the Philadelphia Folklore Project (PFP) aims to represent the experiences and traditions of ordinary people. The organization supports and presents Philadelphia-area folk arts and culture - including the arts of people who have been here for generations and those who have just arrived.


“We use folk arts from diverse cultural traditions as a way of helping young people to understand the logic, values and aesthetics of other cultures and their own” – Selina Morales, Director. 

Check out one of their latest project a Peacebuilding and Traditional Arts Forum. Dr. Cynthia Cohen of Brandeis University's led a discussion and a screening of the documentary, Acting Together on the World Stage. The discussion focused on the place of traditional and folk arts practice in reconciliation, anti-violence and peacebuilding work in Philadelphia and beyond with members of the Liberian Women's Chorus for Change and other local artists and activists.

This latest endeavor is just an example of the many workshops, concerts, and exhibitions PFP offers to foster heritage in communities across the region. The tradition of folklore is one that they deem critical in preserving art in Philadelphia. With more of the population turning to smart phones and social media, PFP offers an alternative version of Philadelphia, which is rooted in community tradition. One of their most notable projects is  the Folk Arts Multicultural Education Residences (FAME), which places teaching artists in classrooms to share the tradition of folklore and in turn allows student to escape the urgency of technology and connect with their classmates and community. 

Check out the Philadelphia Folklore Project website to learn more about the Peacebuilding forum and other events they have on the horizon.